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Maxed Out 2008-04-29 04:18:48

Maxed Out: Family Stresses and Debt Become Overwhelming

This episode of Maxed Out is about Yvonne and David, a couple who spends more time in the red than in the black. Their heavy debt load and stresses of caring for David's elderly parents make it difficult for them to even enjoy spending time with their kids. While they'd like to be in a position to help his parents financially, they need to help themselves before they can even think about helping anyone else. Fearing bankruptcy, Yvonne and David can't figure out a way to continue living with the emotional stress of debt and call on financial guru Allison Griffiths to get the family on track. With a monthly shortfall of $2,300 and an amassed debt of about $35,000 Allison has her work cut out for her. To see how she helps them just

Allison studies the couple's spending habits and finds a red flag number of $188 — that's how much they're paying in bank fees every single month. She shows them that in eleven years, the same amount of time their first child will be ready to go to college that compounded $188, would amount to $24,800, which could be used toward educational expenses. Their young daughter was attending daycare that cost $700 a month, but Yvonne decides to stay home and pursue her business full time while saving money on daycare. Another big expense they're able to cut out is the $240 per month French tutor for their son — since David is bilingual he replaces the tutor and is able to spend additional time with his son.

Yvonne and David say they feel more in control by the episode's end and this sentiment is truly believable. They seemed so overwhelmed and overextended when Allison first met them and they weren't making time to have any fun together. Being pulled in many directions made them think there wasn't any time left in the day for each other, but Allison made them see that depriving themselves of time together was just creating additional stress in their lives. David says that they'll always find a way to be able to pay for a babysitter, and I think that's definitely an important thing to include in a couple's budget.

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